throughout the campaign, APWLD and its partners will be calling for -
derailment of WTO 6TH Ministerial Meeting
WTO and TNCs out of food and agriculture
Womens Right to food and land
protection and promotion of rights of women to defend their rights to food and land
Food sovereignty as an alternative to corporate globalisation
Rural Women Speak Out
October 15th has been marked as the World Rural Womens Day. This was launched in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing.
The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) salutes the women from the rural communities for keeping the rivers flowing, for keeping the trees dancing with the wind, for keeping food as we know it. APWLD celebrates their courage and fortitude as they live their lives with dignity and beauty in the face of poverty, hunger, environmental destruction, violence, discrimination. Our solidarity is with you, women, who stand at the frontier of the powerful challenges to the essence of life, as you face these, and win over them.
On this occasion, let us listen to what the women from the rural communities within Asia have to say.
I never knew about rural women’s day. It is so nice and at the same time unexpected… Of course, it is great to have our own rural women’s day, this recognition is really inspiring. And it is also philosophical as now I feel myself to be a part of globe. My best wishes to my worldwide sisters.
Umsun Tashtemoriya, making bread in their traditional stove (Kirgsholk village, Ysalata, Kyrgyzstan)
Nagpapasalamat dahil sa pagkilala ng lipunan sa ambag nila sa ekonomiya lalo na sa industriya ng agrikultura; sana magkaroon ng sapat na pagkain dahil ang kababaihan ang pangunahing nag-iisip ng pagkain para sa mga anak at pamilya; para sa gobyerno, sana may magandang programa sa mga magsasaka para wala nang magugutom
Am grateful that society recognizes our economic contribution, particularly in the agricultural industry. I wish that there will be enough food for us, as it is the women who primarily think of food for the children and the family. I ask the government to have a good program for us farmers so there will be no more hunger.
Women ....resume sustainable livelihood! remain committed and carry on the local traditional culture and knowledge!
Sajikumari / S. Sujatha / Radhika
women organic farmers in Kovalam, Kerala, India
On the occasion of World Rural Women’s Day and World Food Day, we the women belonging to Kovalam, a small village in the State of Kerala, India, share our concern about the way our right to produce safe food and keep our environment intact for our children is taken away by the governments and big companies.
While we are trying to rejuvenate our land and water by taking away hazardous pesticides and fertlizers and other toxic materials and trying to protect our seeds, we understand that our national government is in the process of giving permission to genetically modified food crops like Bt Brinjal, Golden rice, GM potatoes and GM mustard. This is a violation of our fundamental right to produce our food which is culturally and ecologically appropriate to our life. We, who have the capability to produce good quality food for our country totally oppose this introduction of genetically modified seeds which are proved to be hazardous to environment and our own health and which are owned by multinational companies.
On this day, we declare our village as a GM-Free village where we will not allow any genetically modified seed to enter our village and genetically modified food to enter our kitchen and we the producers of non-chemical food will start spreading this message to our sisters, both producers and consumers of our state.
D.M. Indrawathi Women farmers from Okkampitiya in Monaragala Dry Zone district in Sri Lanka :
Chittagong Hill Tribes
a photo relating Indigenous rural women condition in Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Indigenous rural women always suffer tremendous workload comparing her male partner. In this picture a rural indigenous women is carrying her two babies along with her belongings whereas her male partner is not helping her and standing without anything.
photo by Lok Sanjh (Pakistan) which supports women farmers in their struggle for food sovereignty, and demand for fair distribution of resources and a secure and sustainable access to land, water and seeds.
Wha Wha, Karen Activist
Mae Jot, Thailand
Although there are days like rural women’s day and world food day, and are celebrated worldwide, Karen woman like me from Burma who is in the same struggles with the fellow migrants from Burma, do not even know that these days exist. Instead of taking days off and celebrating on these days designated for us, we have to work for 14 hours everyday. If we do not work one day, we will not be able to feed ourselves that day. We do not have time to celebrate and think about these because our immediate worry is not about celebration, but the next meal and security.
October 15, 2006 Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Rural and Indigenous Women Task Force
Women and Environment Task Force
Chiang Mai, Thailand www.apwld.org
For more contribution of photos and thoughts of rural women for the World Rural Women’s Day, please send them to email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
the campaign will...
raise awareness among women from grassroots communities about the link of the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other significant international and regional instruments and institutions in the current situation of hunger and poverty;
raise awareness among women from grassroots communities how the current power structures in the society make women more vulnerable and experience deeper sufferings;
contribute in mobilising and strengthening of grassroots women organisations in their struggle against corporate globalisation, in the Region in general, in participating countries in particular through;
link the promotion of corporate agenda with state violence particularly against women activists fighting for their rights to food and land; and
promote Food Sovereignty as an alternative to corporate globalisation by supporting related national campaigns.